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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Newly-Completed Bunny Condo

 Today we moved Butters into her new home, a beautiful hutch that Mr. Bear has been building in the garage. I wish I had a tutorial for you all, but I did not document his work, as he mainly built it while I was busy myself. It is gorgeous, though! And so much nicer than the giant kennel we had her in before.


 Mr. Bear built if from scratch. It's about five feet tall, four feet long, and two feet deep. We bought all the materials(minus the paint) at the hardware store; lumber, floor tiles, decorative trim, wire fencing, hinges, latches. The decorative molding along the bottom was my idea. The whole thing is painted with milk paint, which is the most environmentally-friendly and safe for animals paint you can get, which we actually bought at a woodworking hobbyist shop.


Mr. Bear only used one of the rolls of wire fencing on the hutch, so we'll use the other to fence off areas for her to run, which will be much better than the improvised child gate/suitcase barrier I've been using to keep her in the living room.

The top and the front panels both fold up for ease of cleaning. We will be adding two shelves inside it for Butters to hop on.


 Until we add the shelves, we stretched a pillowcase between those two rods in the back of the hutch, and she has been hopping around on it, throwing her grass everywhere!


We will also be adding a nice matching ramp, we're using a makeshift one made of a plank of wood covered with a towel. She got the hang of it quickly enough.

 I'm terribly impressed with how it turned out. And it fits through the front door in one piece! We found a nice hutch at a thrift store months ago, but it was too big to actually get inside our house. This one is much nicer and fits through a standard size door.


Butters seems happy with it, she's been exploring and playing with her toys, and is now taking a nap in the back of the hutch under her pillowcase canopy. Moving days are exhausting!





Edit 7/4/12: Since an anonymous reader saw fit to submit a comment to the effect that this is animal cruelty, I'd like to clarify that Butters is not confined to her hutch 24/7. She has the run of the house and a large enclosed run in the yard, the hutch is her warren. Rabbits need a place to call their own. The ramp we built her is not pictured here, but we do not keep her locked up. If you'd like to discuss the ethical ramifications of animal domestication with me further, please do so as yourself, and not behind an anonymous comment.

17 comments:

  1. Way to go Mr. Bear! Butters looks so comfy on her pillowcase bed.

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  2. Yeah, Sgt. Husband always comes through! Butters loves it.
    Ponyo, though, was insanely jealous the entire time we were setting it up... ;)

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  3. I would like to say that I am in utter love with your hutch. I've been looking at making them out of wire cubes for the amount of room that I want, but this is just as big and looks like furniture instead of a cage!
    I will definitely be trying to create a bunny home like this. :D

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you like it! I'm in love with it, too. I should post some newer pictures of it, since we've also installed two "platforms" for Butters, turning it into a 3-level home for our bun. :)

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    2. I have been searching for the perfect design my my buck Crunch....I think this is the way I am going to go, maybe with a few alterations to the opening in the front.In regards to your post about animal cruelty, I just don't understand why people cannot mind their own business. My bunnies love being out of their habitats but they also love going into them. Great job with the hutch!

      Lisa Weber

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  4. How cute is your little bun! What a perfectly peachy little retreat! Love the hammock!!

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    1. Thank you so much! She is very cute, with her twitchy little nose. I've been bugging Mr. Bear to write up his building plan for the hutch, so other like-minded folk could make a similar one.

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  5. Yes!!!! I need the plans for this hutch...thank you for posting! It almost looks like you used a coffee table for the base. You must get Mr. Bears to share how he put it together :)

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    1. I hadn't thought about it, but you could totally use a coffee table as a base...and if it had drawers, then you have an elegant solution to storing all your bunny supplies. We just attached fancy legs to a plywood base.

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  6. I love you cage, I have been throwing around the ideal of using my son's old crib to make a cage...but haven't quite come up with a plan. I think I could you the bunk board as the floor and the ends of the crib as the sides....
    Our bunnies have been outside all summer, so I need some ideas of how to re-train them into the house. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, they were a few months old when they were house bunnies.

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    1. We have a litter box for Butters in the back corner of her hutch. When we brought her home, we kept her in a gigantic kennel lined with straw, and observed where she liked to use the toilet. When we moved her into the hutch, we placed the litter box in that spot to encourage her to use it. Young bunnies are difficult to train, but older rabbits are much more mellow and easier to train.

      Once you figure out where your buns like to void themselves, you can position your litter boxes appropriately. When you clean the litter boxes, make sure to leave a small bit of soiled litter in them, so they can smell it and remember that is where they are supposed to do their business. They'll still leave bunny poos everywhere, but they should learn to restrict their fluids to the litter box, by and large. :)

      Butters gets to roam about the house when we're home, but we have to supervise her as we have lots of cords and cables, which buns loooove to chew on. They also like to scratch up carpeting, so restricting them to something like the kitchen where there is linoleum or such can be a good way to avoid that. Make sure wherever they are when they're out of the hutch also has a litter box(or just move the one from the hutch to where they take their exercise indoors) or you will have some bunny messes to mop up.

      I hope that helps!

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  7. THIS is uber awesome. I have been thinking of how I can turn the big ugly pen in the dining room into something that's just as big for the bun, but also goes with the decor of the house, and this is so perfect. My bun also runs around the apartment, this would be perfect size to be his nighttime abode. I really like the idea of using a coffee table, that would probably save some time and like hyou said, if it has drawers, it would be even better. I need to find someone whose handy with a saw and hammer like your Mr. Bears!

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    1. Having a Mr. Bear has proved incredibly handy, for sure! ;D

      I would recommend checking out the trim section of the hardware store. An easy fix for making the pen fit better with your decor would be to pick out some trim you like, paint it if you want it to match a color scheme, and affix it to the outside of the pen, covering up whatever you don't like the look of.

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  8. Darn it, I was going to buy a cage but my searches led me to this page, and I like this so much better than any others. And I can do some rudimentary woodworking, so it is possible that I could make one, though probably not a good idea :) Very cute bunny house!

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    1. Thank you! I love it, and Mr. Bear is very proud of it(rightly so!).
      I'd love to see pictures of yours, should you decide to make one.

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  9. I LOVE the hutch! I also love the idea that I also have a house bunny, a corgi, some chickens and a hunky husband that likes to build things for me. I'm a follower. :)

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    1. We are very lucky people, to be surrounded by such awesomeness. ;)

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